Thursday, October 16, 2008

Goodbye, Maryland; Hello, Nevada

Monday, 10/6 through Wednesday, 10/8

Pack. Pack. And pack some more. We only thought we'd packed everything we had, given how much we had put into storage, but our offices and kitchen told us differently. The Salvation Army took the entertainment center, but not the sofa since the cushions were becoming threadbare. That was quickly rectified with a Freecycle post; it was gone the same evening.

Unfortunately, we just didn't have time to Freecycle everything. We tried to consume as much food and other items as we could, but we soon realized we'd have to part with a lot of those as well. All the existing cat supplies (litter boxes, carriers, etc.) had to go.

Thanks to my former boss David at Vocelli's for all the cheese boxes; they were perfect, and we had just about enough! Before getting some legitimate boxes from the moving company, I had also snagged some from my prior pizza delivery job and from the liquor store next door to that.

We got a lot of exercise going up and down the steps.

Thursday, 10/9

I got a brief repose from packing as I joined my father for one final round of golf at Frederick Golf Club. Whereas last time I played well and he could have stood some improvement, I stunk up the joint and he had one of his best rounds ever, including a birdie. I can't count how many balls I lost out of bounds from the tee. But we had fun. I'll miss playing golf with him on a semi-regular basis.

Then the packing continued well into the night. (Thanks, love, for picking up the slack while I was having fun.)

Friday, 10/10

Moving day. Enter the huge Allied Van Lines (you think we'd go with Mayflower?) tractor-trailer, backing gingerly into our court. The two guys had everything packed in about four hours, and then set off for Sparks, NV by way of Los Angeles and Sacramento. The only place we could sit out of the way was on our deck; we bequeathed the deck furniture, most of our outdoor equipment, and some other things that were impractical to take along, to our buyers. I made three landfill runs that day. (Note to self: Next time, make sure the movers take ALL the long, thin items like my walking cane (purely decorative, for now) and LC's doorstop so we don't have to try to fit them on the plane!)

Finally, late in the afternoon, we packed our remaining stuff into the rental Chevy HHR that we had obtained a couple days before and headed for La Quinta at BWI Airport. Dinner that night was at the Chevy's at Arundel Mills; it was quite satisfying.

Saturday, 10/11

We awoke to find that someone had backed into the HHR overnight! We got the last available parking spot on the La Quinta lot, and I noticed that someone had parked behind it in a nonexistent space. I figure that had something to do with how the accident occurred. So we had to shell out our deductible and get another vehicle from Enterprise, who actually handled the situation quite well.

I met some old friends for breakfast in Laurel while LC worked on a nursing course. That afternoon, we were both wiped, so we slept for a while. We dined at the Olive Grove restaurant just off the Beltway in Linthicum.

Sunday, 10/12

After an early Mass, I sacked out some more before we headed over to a different hotel, the Ramada Inn, for our going-away party. We wanted to let our family and friends know how much we were going to miss them. Over 80 people attended, and others said they would have shown if they didn't have conflicts. One of our friends brought all seven of his kids from southern Pennsylvania! My, are we blessed.

Monday, 10/13

By this time, I wasn't just tired from the rigors of moving; I was just plain not feeling well. I had a lot of pain on the right side of my head, and some itchy portions on my chest and neck. So we both took it easy through the daytime. That evening, LC's aunt and uncle took us to Sullivan's in Laurel for dinner. The meals were good and the company great, but the service was quite poor.

Tuesday, 10/14

Closing day. But first, it was cleaning day.

We had Elizabeth's Helper, an Emmitsburg-based cleaning company, do one final cleanup of our house before the settlement. I recommend using cleaning folk for such big jobs; believe me, neither of us could have done so. We left them all our remaining cleaning chemicals and buckets.

In the meantime, I saw my NP and found that most of my pain was from a cut behind my ear that had gotten infected somehow. And the itchy parts were poison sumac that someone so generously gave me the week before. I got horse pills for the infection and a steroid-based cream for the itch. Guess I can kiss my baseball career goodbye.

I mailed out our EZ-Passes. For some reason, the Maryland MVA can sell EZ-Passes, but it won't take them back. Eeesh. Meanwhile, LC got our boarding passes for the next day while using her new notebook computer at a Barnes and Noble (the Starbucks wireless net was down).

We had a few hours to kill before settlement, so we had lunch and played pool at Hard Times Cafe. I took a quick 2-0 lead in games of nine-ball, but LC stomped me by winning five of the next six. She was like a pair of nylons; she was on a run!

Then over to our agent's office in downtown Frederick for the settlement. The buyer and her agent were late in arriving because they couldn't find the office, and downtown Frederick at PM rush is not the easiest to negotiate if you don't know what streets are one way in which direction. We blitzed through our documents, then she muddled through hers with some good questions; she and her husband are first-time homebuyers. Then we gave her the keys and told her what to expect about trash pickup, snow removal, the HOA, etc.

We bade farewell to Frederick, and celebrated with one last dinner in one of our favorite places: Rocky Run.

Wednesday, 10/15

The day we go west. Thank goodness that Southwest doesn't have nickel-and-dime charges for extra pieces of luggage. But if we still had even one cat, we couldn't have flown her on Southwest. My CPAP is a bear to take through security; I found out it isn't enough just to have it in its own case, but it has to be removed too! Ick.

As it turned out, my mom and dad were also flying out on Southwest that morning; they were heading to Chicago to see my niece star in a school play. Our flight was leaving from the end of Terminal B. I walked twice from the end of Terminal B to the end of Terminal A to try to find my parents, but no luck. Then I found them the third time I trapsed there. At least I got my exercise in! But why couldn't they have been on one of the Chicago flights leaving from a gate right near us? My mom said she hates multi-stop flights; oh, well. We said our goodbyes to them.

I'll miss you, Mom and Dad. Save for my three months in Florida in 1999-2000, I've never been more than an hour from my folks.

We were not as fortunate as my folks with nonstop flights, but then again, since my FIL gave us his comp tickets, we certainly weren't going to argue!

So long, People's Republic of Maryland.

Flight 1 from BWI to Louisville (SDF) was quite smooth and uneventful; we had room to spread out.

Flight 2 from SDF to Las Vegas (LAS) was much more full and considerably more rowdy, especially with the tipsy, high-roller card players right behind us who were playing either bridge or spades VERY LOUDLY. My leg muscles didn't have much of anywhere to go; I wonder how they managed the four-hour flight. Fortunately, my MP3 player kept me company.

When we landed in LAS, all we'd had to eat for the day was breakfast and a series of small snacks, which I augmented with an Auntie Anne pretzel back at BWI. So we each snarfed a small Uno pizza. I've had better; that one must have been sitting out a while.

To my surprise, Flight 3 from LAS to Reno-Tahoe (RNO) was full as well. The nice lady from Carson City who sat with us explained that many on the flight were Reno-area commuters who, like her, might have an office in Vegas to which they have to report from time to time. We got a nice view of the sunset over the Sierras and Lake Tahoe.

We were fortunate to find a nice cabbie who took us straight to my ILs' house; we tipped him well. Then their friend Iris met us to let us in. BTW, my ILs had flown that day to San Francisco for an operation on cancer in my FIL's liver the next day.

Dinner that night was around the corner in a nice neighborhood Tex-Mex joint called the Buenos Grill. Like Chipotle, only better.

Thursday, 10/16

We started the day with Mass at the St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral in Reno, doing so especially to pray for my FIL. Actually, because the cathedral is undergoing renovations, Mass took place in the chapel under the parish offices. There, we met Fr. Masseo Gonzales, whom we had known while he was still a Franciscan brother living at the friary in Ellicott City, MD. He gave us a priestly blessing after Mass. Wow. We're blessed to know him, and will keep him in our prayers; he has a lot of responsibilities.

After breakfast at the Peppermill (no, we didn't gamble, just ate! And took advantage of my ILs' platinum parking pass), we decided to look at our apartment in Sparks to the east, located near the Sparks Marina. Yes, there's really a marina in Sparks! We found out that we could actually take possession of the apartment as soon as we had the money to pay for the initial rent. Finding a local Bank of America where we had established an account before we left Maryland, we got a cashier's check. Then we brought it back to the Marina Village office, and the apartment is now ours! At least through April 30, that is.

It's a third-floor apartment, so I'm not looking forward to hauling up groceries! But it will give us a workout whether we want one or not. Speaking of which, there's a workout room, plus bike and walking paths around the marina and elsewhere in Sparks. And, if we really like the area, there are homes nearby for sale! (We didn't want to buy a home sight unseen, but we shall buy one soon enough.)

After I took a nap, I contacted a neighbor of the above-mentioned Iris about a car she had for sale; we'll need to get cars out here. She was offering a 2-door 2004 Chrysler Sebring that had only 14K miles on it for only $6000, which certainly sounded like a steal. But the first thing we noticed out of whack was the tires; they were feathered and badly worn. We opted to pass, and a Carfax check bore us out; the car had major engine problems at one point.

Good news: my FIL came through his surgery fine. Please keep him in your prayers.

So, our Nevada adventure has begun! Stay tuned as the story unfolds . . . because I didn't fold it properly when packing.


Tummy said...

Cyg - first I'm thankful you FIL came thru surgery well. My FIL just had the same thing done, two tumors in the liver and a larger one in the kidney. All came out benign, Thank you God. I'll keep him in my prayers.

Second - as far as closing and moves go your's seems to have gone pretty smoothly! Good for you.

Third - there is a little fish restaraunt across from the TA truckstop in Reno that is really good. They make great fish tacos if you like those. :)

Enjoy Reno and Happy Adventure!

Mom2BJM(Amy) said...

Wow, you could never claim that your leaving MD was uneventful, right?

My head was spinning with all the stuff you did! I never want to move because I DON'T WANT TO PACK! Especially since there is not much real estate moving here, I still probably have a few more years!
We moved away from my folks when we were in OR, it is definitely hard to be away from them.
Good luck in your new home!

Silvergirl said...

Dude! I wrote a really looong comment, and it got lost. Anyway, I'm sorry I missed your going away party, but we are very busy on Sundays. It turned out that I wasn't feeling so well last Sunday, anyway, so it's just as well that we didn't plan on being there.

It sounds like you've been successful in selling your home, and in getting out there. Now the rest of your lives begin. It's been nice being able to spend some time with you two. I hope things go well out there. I'm sorry for the FIL illness. I will certainly keep him in my prayers, and also you, LC, and LC's mom. It's a tough row to hoe.

Maybe God will send you a new kitty to love.

*hugs* for now

Cygnus said...

Thanks, Tummy, Silv (sorry about your eaten post!), and Mom2 for the kind words! *Hugs* to you all.

Silv: Sorry you weren't feeling well! We will be getting a kitten soon, from the litter of a cat that Sandy's best friend's daughter found.

Tummy: Is that the one in Sparks? That's the only TA truck stop I've seen so far.

Mom2: Of course, we get to do it all again when we buy a house! I think there will be a number of boxes that we'll leave packed.

Puffy said...

I enjoyed reading about your moving adventure. I admire you for making so many changes in your life. It's scary and exciting at the same time. Good luck!